Millions of journalists, all over the world are making life-changing decisions based on their reports, yet some of our colleagues in Ghana, have made their names through speculation and lies.
For starters, I don’t know the meaning of Yaanom, as I was referred to by Manasseh Awuni Azure, when he reacted to my article titled: RE: Is Dr. Omane Boamah In Town? – Asks Manasseh Azure Awuni. I was actually expecting him to assure me that, he was going to shame me by personally contacting the relevant agencies, including the Minister of Communications, to get to the bottom of the alleged text message that is the bases of this entire ill will.
As journalists, we should realize that our credibility is like virginity, once lost, due to the compromise of values, it can never be regained and the regrets of such acts of indiscretion may last a lifetime.
When Manasseh, first posted his comment on facebook and a story made out of it and hosted on Peacefmonline, I thought it was irresponsible of someone, who has won the Journalist of the Year Award. A coveted award which is a dream of every journalist, it is the defining moment and the apex, as far as the practice is concern.
I could pardon a neophyte in the profession, but someone who won an award in a fashion described by many as among the shortest time a practitioner has won it, I will not gloss over it.
I did not question Manasseh’s right to ask questions, after all that is what journalist do, but my issue has to do with the medium and the tone of language used.
I did not also ascribe any political affiliation, so I am at a loss as to how the gentleman came to the conclusion that, I had tagged him with any political party. I am as much a Ghanaian as he is, I did not make that suggestion to him from any political lenses, so for him to link me to a political party was disingenuous and unbecoming of the best thing that has ever happened to the media in Ghana.
If Manasseh and myself, will seek answers from our political leaders on social media, like facebook, what will other professionals and ordinary Ghanaians do?
My Holy Quran teaches me that, Allah has said, if you think you are intelligent, He has created someone, who is more intelligent than you. Manasseh cannot claim to be the citadel of knowledge.
We are all learning and we learn from each other, if by knowing too much Manasseh feels that, I am too small to advice him, I don’t think, it was fair for him to refer to me as Yaanom.
This is what Manasseh wrote
This No Be War…
Noor Yaanom take um World Cup. Me I just dey ask questions. Make im come remove im mouth. This no be war. Like I hear the allegation from foot soldier, I no go worry my head sef. But you be minister.
AND NOW TO HON. DR. EDWARD OMANE BOAMAH:
You can’t come and tell us something so serious and and expect us to forget about it. Let’s get to the bottom of this, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah. You are a minister of state. You are not a serial caller. Your words carry weight. Those allegations had national security implications. The unnecessary tension in Talensi, one may argue, was as a result of the kind of fire you stoked a few hours to the by-election.
As a journalist, it is my duty to follow up. I am not doing anything extra-ordinary. It is not personal. You were the one who run to the media with those allegations. You were the one who told us what you would be doing to get to the bottom of this. You were the one who wrote to the NCA. The message you sent to my Facebook inbox, after my article suggested that you could be lying, said you would get to the bottom of this. And you must tell us how far you have gone with this issue.
And please, tell your boys and girls that I am not one of those journalists who care about political tagging. I have friends in both NPP and NDC. Very good friends at all levels. But I am not one of those journalists whose conscience you can ever buy. So let’s address the issues and stop wasting time on political tagging. I have grown above that. The NPP and NDC are not terrorist organisations or criminal gangs so associating someone with it is not a big deal.
Please, Hon. Minister, I am waiting to hear who called and sent the text messages to the Upper East Regional Minister on the plot to rig the Talensi by-election.
There is nothing personal about this, please. I am too busy for that.
I want to assure Manasseh that I did not also take it personal, I was not contracted by the Minister to do his bidding, I saw everything wrong with the medium and language used to address a Minister of State, who we are allowed to have differences with, but his office must be respected.
Is Manasseh expecting the Minister to answer his questions on facebook, his duty and responsibility as a journalist, is not to hear his own voice, but to speak to millions of Ghanaians, likewise the duty of a Minister is not to speak or write to Manasseh, but to the millions of Ghanaians, who have entrusted the authority of State to him.
Unfortunately, it is sad though, but Manasseh is only interested in hearing his own voice, he does not wait to be celebrated, rather he does it himself. He has done so many stories that have turn out to be pure lies and a figment of his imagination and his style of practice.
Was he crucified, No, was he referred to as a foot soldier, No, was he referred to as a serial caller, No, so why referred to a Minister of State as such.
More ridiculous is his description of us as the Ministers, boys and girls. We are free to criticize, but we cannot be criticized, because we are too special, is that
what Manasseh is telling us.
A serious journalist like Manasseh, knows how follow-ups on a story do, you seek for answers and don’t allow your bias to cloud your judgment.
Keep your political affiliation to yourself, it is none of my business, but please don’t tag me.